Sunday, May 30, 2010

Church Record Sunday: Foursquare Gospel

The International Church of the Foursquare Gospel was founded by Aimee Semple McPherson in 1927.  McPherson's ministry headquartered  in Echo Park, Los Angeles, California, has now grown to a membership of over 8 million worldwide. When McPherson built her church, it's 5,300 seat facility was filled to capacity, three times a day, 7 days a week according to the Foursquare website.

Was your family a member of McPherson's Foursquare Gospel Church?  The Foursquare website has a research link that states that they will be happy to assist  researchers wanting to know more about the history of the Foursquare Church and Aimee Semple McPherson. "Feel free to contact us if you would like assistance  in researching any aspect of Foursquare's history."

One of the features I especially like about their website is that they have a listing of all of their credentialed ministers who have died  and which region they were working in.  Gone to Be With the Lord would be even better if it provided information on ministers throughout the history of Foursquare.  (It appears that it just lists the most recent deaths.) An archival feature would be a nice resource for those researching the church and their family history.

You can email for information about research at their Los Angeles headquarters at .

**Image from Wikipedia

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Checking out Genealogy on SlideShare

As I was working on an article for GenWeekly, I came across a website that although I've seen before I've never really played with much.  This website has some great slideshows on it that will provide you with additional ideas for your genealogy.

Slideshare is a community for sharing presentations.  You can upload Powerpoint slides,  PDF's, OpenOffice presentations thus allowing others to learn from your presentation/research. Their "About" page states,
"SlideShare is a business media site for sharing presentations, documents and pdfs. SlideShare features a vibrant professional community that regularly comments, favorites and downloads content. Content also spreads virally through blogs and social networks such as LinkedIn, Facebook and twitter. Individuals & organizations upload documents to SlideShare to share ideas, connect with others, and generate leads for their businesses. Anyone can view presentations & documents on topics that interest them. The site is growing rapidly with over 25 million monthly visitors."

"SlideShare is the best way to get your slides out there on the web, so your ideas can be found and shared by a wide audience"

So basically SlideShare is a Web 2.0 website that allows you yet one more way to network with others or learn from others.

While obviously this website was not created with genealogists in mind, there is a lot of great genealogical content.  Search on the words "genealogy," "history," or "family history" and you will find everything from slides made about an individual's research, genealogical how to's, and resources. 

While I was playing with the site I came across some great presentations from fellow blogger Mark Tucker.  I love Mark's blog and his presentations, some of which you can review on SlideShare, including The Twittering Genealogist and Navigating Research with the Genealogical Proof Standard.

It can be difficult to go to all the presentations, society meetings or conferences that you want to but with Slide Share you can learn more about genealogy from the comfort of your home and best of all it's Free.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Retro Recipes: Jello Vegetable Salad

I have a few interests in my life that go along with my passion for genealogy.   Two other of my interests are quilt history and cookbook/food history.  I like to look at genealogy through a social history lens, not just collecting names and dates, but truly understand what life was like in an earlier time. 

So one of my collections is old cookbooks.  I find them interesting and in some cases they are of genealogical value-something I will write about later.  As I look at some of these recipes I wonder, "did people really eat these things?"

Case in point, jello salads using vegetables.  Now I know that plenty of people have ate tomato aspics and I think I have ate jello with carrots in it.  I actually had a coworker make an aspic for a potluck about 20 years ago.  But did you or a family member actually prepare and eat jello salads with such ingredients as onions, cabbage, lettuce, radishes, olives, pimentos, bell peppers, celery, etc.  Maybe you even went as far as adding tuna, shrimp or salmon.

Now, I don't mean this as a way to make fun of your eating habits.  I really want to know how prevalent this type of salad was for people in the 1950s to 1970s. Obviously taste preference changes with different historical eras and even regionally.  Anyone knows from watching the Food Channel that what they eat in a different country or even in a different region may not appeal to everyone. At one time Jello did make a vegetable flavored gelatin for use in these types of salads.  This flavor apparently didn't last long. But if you family enjoyed such salads, was it because it made vegetables "interesting"? Was it just because it was a fad?  What is your familiy's experience with these salads?

One of my cookbooks in my collection is the Joys of Jell-O by General Foods Corporation, circa 1963.  There are a plethora of vegetable salad recipes in this cookbook, that are most likely not seen as delicious by our present tastes.  A good example is a recipe simply titled Vegetable Salad.

Vegetable Salad
Your favorite vegetables can be used in this very versatile salad.

1 package (3 oz) Jell-O Lemon, Lime, Lemon-Lime, Orange or Orange-Pineapple Gelatin
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup boiling water
3/4 cup cold water
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 teaspoons grated onion
Dash of pepper
3/4 cup finely chopped cabbage*
3/4 cup finely chopped celery*
1/4 cup finely chopped green pepper*
2 tablespoons diced pimentos*

*or use any vegetable cobination listed below or 1 to 2 cups of your favorites.

Dissolve Jell-O Gelatin and salt in boiling water.  Add cold water, vinegar, onion and pepper. Chill until very thick. Then fold in vegetables. Por into a 1-quart mold or individual molds. Chill until firm. Unmold. Makes about 3 cups, or 6 side salads or 8 to 10 servings.

Other Vegetable Combinations:

Use 1 1/4 cups cauliflower florets and 1/4 cup diced pimentos
Use 3/4 cup diced tomato and 1/2 cup each diced cucumber and celery
Use 3/4 cup grated carrots and 1/4 cup finely chopped green peppers
Use 1 1/2 cups finally chopped cabbage, 1/2 cup sliced stuffed olives and 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
Use 1/2 cup each thinly sliced radishes and chopped celery and 1/4 cup thin onion rings.

You can read a blog posting from Michael Procopio who actually made this salad at his blog Word Eater. Apparently, it is not as easy and beautiful as it is in the Jell-O cookbook.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Church Record Sunday: Seventh-day Adventists and Food

This morning I finished reading a great book that was a history of America told through cookbooks. From Hardtack to Home Fries: An Uncommon History of American Cooks and Meals by Barbara Haber was an excellent read that detailed cookbooks from the FDR White House, WWII Japanese Interment Camps in the Philippines, African American Cookbooks and more.

One of the chapters, Chapter 3: They Dieted for Our Sins: America's Food Reformers,  discusses dietary reformers such as Sylvester Graham and the Kelloggs. Their 19th century food ideas are intertwined with the dietary ideas of Ellen G. White, founder of the Seventh-day Adventists.  Haber has some interesting history of these early diet reformers and how their ideas has shaped the way we eat today.

For those with Seventh-day Adventist ancestors, you may want to read more about the history and beliefs of the early church.  Haber includes in her annotated bibliography some books that you may be itnerested in. 

Numbers, Ronald L. Prophetess of Health: A Study of Ellen G. White. New York: Harper & Row, 1976.

Graham, Roy E. Ellen G. White, Co-founder of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. New York: Peter Lang, 1985.

She also includes books about Graham and Kellog in this bibliography as well. 

While this posting isn't the typical posting about church records, I think the social history of our ancestors is important and this look at the dietary reformers is one that is vital to understanding the history of the Seventh-day Adventist church.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Gena's Genealogy made the My Heritage Top 100 Genealogy Sites

While I was gone I was surprised to find out that my blog was nominated to the's Top 100 Genealogy Sites. 

According to the My Heritage blog they wanted to find "hidden" gems, which I may be considered since I don't think I am nearly as popular as some of the others mentioned.  They write, "We wanted to identify and give recognition to websites which offered high-quality content, were innovative in topic or design, and which were frequently updated with new content. We also put some emphasis on finding hidden gems in the community, and bringing sites to attention which currently have relatively small audiences. As such, there are a number of lesser-known sites included, and a few more prominent sites unmentioned for the same reason."

To say I am honored is an understatement.  It is wonderful when you find out that people read and like your blog and it's even more terrific to be honored by a company. 

Check out the list of other sites, over 70 are other genealogy bloggers.  You just may find a few new favorites!

I'm Back

My regular readers may have noticed my absence.  I just returned from the NGS conference in Salt Lake City, Utah and a research/family visit in Nebraska.  But now I am let the blogging commence!